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Rachmaninov's Hygiene

Sergei Rachmaninov's personal hygiene left something to be desired. His wife once asked Igor Stravinsky: "What is the first thing you do when you rise in the morning?" "For fifteen minutes I do exercises taught me by a Hungarian gymnast and Kneipp Kur maniac," Stravinsky replied, "or, rather, I did them until I learned that the Hungarian had died very young and very suddenly, then I stand on my head, then I take a shower." "You see, Serge," Mrs. Rachmaninov said, turning to her husband, "Stravinsky takes showers. How extraordinary. Do you still say you are afraid of them?"

[Stravinsky once called Rachmaninov "the only pianist I have ever seen who did not grimace."]

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